Health care is a right

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  • re:Pedro | 1:28 p.m.
    Aug. 21, 2009 3:34 p.m.

    Dude, you said it!

    And if you were LDS you'd understand and appreciate the fact that the war in heaven was NOT unanimous - but a majority rule.

    (hmmmm, ding, another light of understand just turned on)

  • Pedro
    Aug. 21, 2009 1:28 p.m.

    In response to Jeremy at 11:37,

    There are two parts to "free agency".

    1. Freedom gives us the right to choose, and

    2. Agency implies we must take responsibility for our actions.

    As citizens of the United States, we should not embrace just our freedom, but we should also accept the responsibilities that our citizenship places on our shoulders.

    As an American and a Christian, I believe one of our responsibilities is to provide for the poor and downtrodden. In terms of health care for the poor, we as a country are put to shame when our health system is compared to other industrialized nations.

    I would like to exercise my freedom by choosing to support health care reform. I would like to exercise my agency by choosing to pay taxes, a portion of which will be used to provide health care services to those who are less fortunate than me.

    I don't consider the lives of others to be a matter of "do I feel like being charitable or don't I?" I take seriously my responsibilities as an American and a Christian.

    Where much is given, much is required.

  • RE: Jeremy @11:37 a.m.
    Aug. 21, 2009 1:09 p.m.

    If I understand your position, it sounds like you believe that we must "reap what we sow."

    In other words, whenever the government takes from those who have more, and gives to those who have less, it is forcibly taking away the freedoms of the rich to unfairly redistribute wealth to the less-rich. Is this right?

    If this is the case, then public education, law enforcement, health and safety services, and many other government-provided services are simply unfair and wrong, because they force the rich to take on more than their fair share of the burden.

    Using that logic, the government should be providing a higher level of services to the wealthy. People who have income so low that they don't pay any taxes shouldn't attend public school, or be allowed to call 911.

    Providing these services to low-income citizens puts an unfair burden on the rich. Not only that, it somehow deprives the wealthy of their choice to be charitable.

    That makes sense...

  • Jeremy
    Aug. 21, 2009 11:37 a.m.

    Those that invoke religion here have a skewed view of charity. Yes, Christ taught and helped the poor, and even healed them from time to time. He encouraged his followers to do likewise. But never did he force his followers to be charitable - he respected their moral agency and their right to choose. It was the adversary's intent to restrict the agency of man and require action.

    By declaring health care a right and instituting a government-run plan that provides for that so-called right, the government forces each of us to be charitable. Thus, our agency is curtailed and we are not allowed to choose for ourselves. This is contrary to what Christ taught.

    George Washington once stated: "It is not everyone who asketh that deserveth charity; all however, are worth of the inquiry or the deserving may suffer." I will be charitable on my terms, not on the terms of others who I deem undeserving.

  • Jeremy
    Aug. 21, 2009 11:27 a.m.

    We already have a progressive tax structure that hammers the rich. We are continuously penalizing those who work hard, take enormous risks, and make a lot of money as a result. These "rich" people you are demonizing provide us jobs. Have you ever been employed by a poor person?

    If we increase our already progressive tax on those that fuel this economy, we will continue to force their businesses overseas to countries like China and India.

  • To Truth | 5:37
    Aug. 21, 2009 10:14 a.m.

    Re: "The public government system is MORE EFFECTIVE!"

    You must be kidding! Say that with a straight face to Native Americans receiving care from the IHS.

    THAT'S the model for a government-provided, rationed health care system.

  • John Gilmore, the letter writer
    Aug. 21, 2009 8:22 a.m.

    ran out of space there.

    Universal health care is a privilege rich societies can afford, it's a smart choice for all involved as it decreases poor health, increases quality of life, and limits individual risk (risk that is, in this particular area, unmanageable for some individuals).

    It's not a right. It can't logically be. That doesn't take away from its importance and the moral arguments surrounding it.

  • John Gilmore, the letter writer
    Aug. 21, 2009 8:19 a.m.

    I hope a couple of you have seen my post at the end(ish) of page two detailing that I've been convinced by the logical argument AGAINST health care being a right.

    I no longer believe it is a right.

    Those on my side, in favor of health care reform (I support single payer, all out socialist! health care) would do well to take down the defenses and think for just a second to see if our "health care is a right" meme, while well intentioned, can stand up to any logical argument. I don't think it can.

    For health care to be a right, we have to require a doctor to give it. I cannot give myself health care, and even a willing unskilled friend cannot. I require the work of a skilled professional. I cannot thus call health care a right, as my right to health care takes away a professional physicians right to choose what to do with his time.

    Does that make sense?

    Please think about it, because we are being illogical.

    So what is universal health care, if not a right? A moral imperative, sign of civilized society, out of words.

  • Nathan
    Aug. 20, 2009 5:47 p.m.

    @ 4:22 p.m.

    The WHO study rates countries higher just for having a nationalized system. The category we get dinged on is "fairness in financial contribution." When the WHO definition of "fairness" *is* nationalized health care, of course those countries get ranked higher.

    The U.S. system does rank first in responsiveness. Which helps explain why so many Canadians travel to our northern states to get prompt, quality treatment they can't get at home, even though their overall ranking is higher in the WHO study.

    On life expectancy: health care is only one of many factors that determine life expectancy. If we eat too many hamburgers and it causes us to die earlier, that says nothing about our health care system. It says something about our eating habits.

  • Truth
    Aug. 20, 2009 5:37 p.m.

    Truth. Change the system Now.

    When we buy in large amounts and work together, we get better discounts and better results.

    This includes healthcare.

    That is why so many nations have implemented nationalized healthcare.

    They still have access to private healthcare too.

    They have shorter wait times than we do because they work more efficiently at resolving their patients illnesses and problems.

    They have LIFE PANELS to help people have better health and recuperate quicker and happier.

    THE United States has Death Panels called Insurance companies who look at ways to deny Healthcare and steal peoples lives and make people miserable.

    The public government system is MORE EFFECTIVE!

  • Just a guy in SLC
    Aug. 20, 2009 5:09 p.m.

    On the subject of rights. The Constitution indicates clearly that we have a right to property. At best, the health care debate is one about competing rights. At worst, it is a debate about whether a governmental purpose is sufficiently valid enogh to trump a right. The argument is moot though. If the federal government decides to organize a single payer system, they have the authority to do that and to tax the citizenry to make that happen.

    I'm more interested in the protestors at town hall debates. Why does it matter if they are paid? Our system has a time honored tradition of hiring people to speak for others. We call them politicians, lawyers, PR reps, agents, and talk show hosts. How is a message invalidated by whether the bearer of the message is paid or not? If someone could explain this to me I would appreciate it.

  • RE: Jay Mayer
    Aug. 20, 2009 4:22 p.m.

    Jay Mayer @ 12:25 wrote: "Let competition drive up quality of care and drive down costs."

    The World Health Organization conducted a study in 2000 that showed the United States' health care system ranked 35th in terms of performance/quality. The US ranked 27th for life expectancy. The US ranked 2nd for health care expenditures as a percentage of GDP (the Marshall Islands ranked 1st).

    In short, we are currently paying more than other countries for lower-quality health care.

    Which countries have the highest-rated systems? The countries that have nationalized health care systems that eliminate the middle-man.

  • Jay Mayer
    Aug. 20, 2009 12:25 p.m.

    How sad is it when people start demanding things as if they are rights. Very few rights actually exist and I do agree that people have the right to life (tis why I am pro-life). However, the country is headed for trouble if people start believing that they have a "right" to things.

    Healthcare is a privelage. I earn the privelage of having healthcare by going to work every day. I'm happy to earn it, makes me feel like I am contributing to society by proactively going out and earning something rather than just holding my hand out and just expecting it to happen.

    Please also don't try to paint private organizations as evil either. Our own, home-grown, system, IHC, gives out tens of millions of dollars in free health care every year...happily! the real solution to efficiant health care is for the government to butt out. Let competition drive up quality of care and drive down costs.

  • FatCactus
    Aug. 20, 2009 11:13 a.m.

    Everyone has their own special experiences or they formulate scenarios that steer the argument in the direction they wish it to go.

    Come on folks, lets get to the fundamentals:

    We have the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness given to us by our Supreme Creator. We do NOT (as individuals) have the "right" to someone else's property or what they produce.

    If I make a TV, car, boat, motor-home, water-heater, refrigerator, etc. you are not entitled to it no matter how much it would improve your life. Likewise, if I can make aspirin, vaccines, set a broken bone, build a hospital, organize a team of doctors, nurses, and EMTs, you still do not have a right to those. You have to offer something of value to me (i.e. money) or I have to "gift" those things to you based on MY charity - not your greed.

    All this belly-aching about rights to health care, or access to it, is the same type of greed attributed to those "evil" corporate CEOs or insurance companies or pharmaceutical companies or whomever we wish to demonize to satiate our own selfish desires.


  • What I Saw
    Aug. 20, 2009 8:47 a.m.

    After spending a night in the ER with my son, I am convinced of two things - 1) everyone should have access (not FREE, I said access) to health care; and equally important, 2) there ABSOLUTELY MUST be controls to limit abusers.

    While in the ER with a boy with a 104 temp, vomiting and convulsing, I saw a waiting room/ER full of adults who were:

    - Drunk and looking for a place to stay a dry out
    - Regulars ("this is my 3rd time here this week")
    - Injuries related to being drunk/on drugs
    - Mildly sick (scratchy throat, head kinda hurts)
    - Lonely

    THIS is what we're paying for? An ER visit is EXPENSIVE and takes valuable resources. Go talk to someone who works in an ER and ask about all of the abuse by those on the dole. THEN decide if we really want to expand Medicare and Medicaid to everyone.

    If we can't govern ourselves (and that includes the least among us), universal healthcare is going to bankrupt our country.

  • Re: This is so Utah
    Aug. 20, 2009 8:42 a.m.

    Were you aware that most people who don't have health insurance could afford it but chose not to?

    Rather than ranting about taxpayers who don't want to pay any more, why don't you rant at those who think cell phones, satellite TV and beer and cigarettes are "necessities"? Want to come visit the government housing development by my house and count all the BMWs and plasma screen TVs?

    I have neither of these and I refuse to pay one more dime until these deadbeats start tightening their own belts!

  • @pedro
    Aug. 20, 2009 6:36 a.m.

    You are indeed right. Gov't, as formed by the people, has been organized to band together to bring ideas or resources together for the greater good and efficiency. Schools are open 8-5. If a student misses out on a lecture, they miss out, or work their own way around to fix things with the teacher, or get the help of another student. That incurs no costs on anyone. It is a limited, 180-days, so many hours a day resource.

    Health care is another beast, with nearly unique needs for every person in the country. We can talk about it and find incremental changes to work towards cost savings, efficiency and shared benefits. Some people form co-ops of some kind and make it work, on a micro scale and probably with catastrophic innsureance backing them up. Good stuff.

    Gov't management from the top down, where it deprives what some have earned, limits choice and progess, and takes from unfairly from one side, with no checks, limits or whatever to what it can do without scrutiny or being able to stop it is all wrong.

  • Observer
    Aug. 20, 2009 1:33 a.m.

    More than half of Utah adults (59.5%) and nearly one in four elementary school students (21.5 %) are overweight or obese, according to the Utah Dept of Health.

    The number of those overweight or obese in Utah is greater than the entire population of Montana. You could simultaneously fill Rice Eccles Stadium, the E-Center, and Energy Solutions Arena almost 13 times with the number of overweight or obese Utah adults.

    Obesity, although complex, is essentially an "addictive" condition, similar to smoking and addiction to drugs, alcohol and other chemical substances. Further, Obesity is one of the leading causes of serious diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure.

    Today, the current U.S. health system is essentially a disease treatment system, rather than a health & wellness system. Instead of focusing on educating people and helping prevent diseases, the system focuses on treating (after the fact) diseases and health conditions. The current system is unsustainable and archaic. The U.S. is at the bottom of the top 20 industrialized nations in terms of mortality and spends more per capita today than any other modern, industrialized nation. As a nation, we should be embarrassed. We certainly can and should do better.

  • Just a comment
    Aug. 19, 2009 3:08 p.m.

    I dont get it.....more money the Insurance Companies take from your pockets, YOU DONT SAY A WORD, When the Government is trying to help YOU CRY!

    Im so happy to pay $15 a month for healthcare, plus my employer pay the difference.
    Im satisfied with the service (It is not perfect, but a lot better than other countries)
    For MY OWN experience, I love my doctor and the system we have.


  • Pedro @ 1:12
    Aug. 19, 2009 2:30 p.m.

    I believe most of the posts are in response to the claim that healthcare IS a 'right'. However, you are correct as to the real issue. I, for one, disagree that the government can provide healthcare better than at present. But, I certainly recognize and appreciate your position--and the civility in which it is presented. I would certainly love to see the two sides debated without the hyperbole and emotion that seems to flavor most arguments.

  • Pedro
    Aug. 19, 2009 1:12 p.m.

    It doesn't matter whether health care is a "right". The government provides a lot of services, many of which are not considered "rights" (education, utilities, fire departments, etc).

    The real issue is whether it would be advantageous for the governement to provide universal health care to US citizens.

    The question we should be asking is, "can a government-run system reduce health care costs and/or increase the quality of care?"

    I believe the answer is yes, and that is why I am in favor of the proposed health care reform measures.

  • Re: This is so Utah
    Aug. 19, 2009 10:03 a.m.

    Wow. I certainly hope you have access to some prozac. Now, put the keyboard down and back away slowly.

    The "rights" in the constitution have no associated monetary cost. It is not a 'right' if you have to pay for it.

    And, all of the items you mentioned (bigger boat, house, WII,etc) I have the opportunity of buying for myself. I don't have to, no one forces me to, and most certainly I don't have to buy them for someone else. Although, you bring up an interesting point about a bigger boat. If I had a boat, my stress level would go down, my quality of life would go up, and I would live longer. Yes, I get it now! My right to "life" has been enhanced! So, would you please buy me a boat. I'm sure I have a 'right' to have one since it ties in so nicely with the 'right' to Life.

  • @ a lib
    Aug. 19, 2009 2:50 a.m.

    I am sorry you cannot read for the blood in your eyes.
    I wrote plainly that the current safety net should be reformed first, and that " just as insurance and tort laws should be, as well as state and federal regulations that complicate and leave heavy burdens on medical providers."
    State regs are on the books elsewhere in America forbid more than one MRI machine within a certain radius. One machine. Something about environmental or safety ramifications if something goes wrong. Demand is thus up, thus the cost of using it is up. That is an artificial, gov't imposed, supercillious bureaucratic weight on supply and demand. Just an example of how costs could be cut 30% if gov't got out of the way.

    Reform past socialist entitlements for the supposed crisis and humanitarian safety net that we are all forced already to support. Don't add further, and tear down the quality 85-90% of us, and our Canadian flight-to-health friends currently utilize.

  • Health Care for ALL
    Aug. 19, 2009 1:59 a.m.

    Thanks for your input. Health Care for all!

  • This is so Utah
    Aug. 18, 2009 9:48 p.m.

    Healthcare is a RIGHT, WE have voted for people who MUST take care of the people, that is EDUCATION, HEALTHCARE, PROTECTION AND WORK (to mention some) WE HAVE THE RIGHT to spend these money in what is necessary for OUR people, if the government raise the tax to have better schools, better education, healthcare and work, IS AN INVESTMENT.
    If WE want to continue this war and continue to spend OUR taxes in that BUSINESS, I dont think is right!!! WE CRY ABOUT PAYING MORE TO HAVE HEALTHCARE, BUT DONT CRY WHEN WE GO TO BUY A NEW BOAT, BIGGER HOUSE, THE 5O' HD TV, THE NEW CAR OR TRUCK, THE BULLETS TO GO TO HUNT, THE PS3, THE WII, People wake up!! And remember IF YOU WANT TO KEEP YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE, YOU CAN KEEP IT...U N D E R S T A N D? BUT dont let go the opportunity for those who cannot have it, Health Insurance Companies have made a LOT OF MONEY, WE PAY 100% TO THEM, BUT WE GET JUST 50% OR WORSED IN SERVICE! And please dont be selfish!!!! everyone crying about giving money for others, next could be you

  • Everywoman
    Aug. 18, 2009 9:32 p.m.

    You already have the right to health care. You have the right to see any doctor (whether or not you have insurance). What you do not have the right to is to have someone else pay for those services (via taxation). This whole idea is so upside down. Mediscare should never have been introduced.

    And, lest anyone use this straw dog argument: insurance companies do not ration health care. You still have the right to see any doctor for any reason, just as that doctor has the right to expect payment for services provided. If you contract with a physician for services, you and you alone are responsible for payment of those services, whether or not you have insurance.

    If this boondoggle of a plan ever goes through, kiss your liberty and money good-bye. Gov't will then have every means available to start dictating what you can and cannot do, what you can and cannot eat, and any and all behaviors which can affect your health.

    It's time to put this monstrosity in the ground and leave it there never to be brought up again. But then, liberals will take exception to that.

  • liberty
    Aug. 18, 2009 8:56 p.m.

    If Government is supposed to be so beneficent, so effective, so humane and compassionate how is it that throughout all of human history one scholar after another didn’t support it, instead so many were fearful of it, even Aristotle, Cicero, Montesquieu, more recently Edmond Burke, Adam Smith not to mention the founding fathers, were they all wrong about limiting, balancing, putting checks on government so that the individual could live pretty much as they want? Is human history wrong and Nancy Pelosi right? Is Human history wrong and Harry Reid right? Do you think Obama, Pelosi and Reid could hold a candle to those people? Because for Obama to be right they all have to be wrong, the constitution, the declaration, the founders all have to be wrong.

  • rw
    Aug. 18, 2009 8:16 p.m.

    If we would stop our ideological battles and just agree that health for all is a good thing, then maybe we could work together to come up with a variety of ways to prevent, treat and cure disease and injury, without bankrupting nations and families.

    If we stopped arguing and started listening, thinking, researching, and talking, we could figure out the best ways to use government, corporations, non-profits, and individuals to make us a healthier, freer (illness is slavery) world.

    Maybe institutions don't have a moral obligation to help the poor and ill, but we as people do. We ignore other people's needs at our temporal and eternal peril.

    We are fundamentally good, intelligent people. Let's stop distracting ourselves with political noise, and just determine to solve our problems. We can do it.

  • Your Deal...
    Aug. 18, 2009 4:52 p.m.

    re: Try This Poker Analogy | 2:41 p.m.
    You DON'T have a right to "a good hand", you have a right to play the cards you're dealt."


    So please explain your line of thinking to me - a liberal:
    a baby born with spinal bifida, cleft pallet or an open heart should suffer because that’s the hand dealt them? No coverage = no HealthCare is your answer and your OK with that??!!

    I’m sorry, my bleeding liberal heart will just never agree with that…..

  • Why I left: the Do Nothing Party
    Aug. 18, 2009 4:28 p.m.

    And the prophets warned that:

    "If man will not recognize the inequalities around him and voluntarily, through the gospel plan, come to the aid of his brother, he will find that through ‘a democratic process’ he will be forced to come to the aid of his brother. The government will take from the ‘haves’ and give to the ‘have nots.’ "

    It looks like time is up - and you had plenty of warnings and plenty of chances.

  • So, name-calling has arrived
    Aug. 18, 2009 3:55 p.m.

    I read how some posters cite the Constitution and Bill of Rights, yet others "hear" a whole different thing.

    The old reliable "Neo-Con" has been trotted out, in a lame attempt to demonize anyone who disagrees with them.

    My answer: If you want healthcare for others, go ahead and pay for it out of your pocket. I choose not to. I am not a "Neo-Con", I have been a conservative my whole life. Does that make me a "forever-con"? I would rather my tax monies did not pay for golf courses that I don't use, but they do as a result of the election process. Prior to that election, public input was given. Those in support of the tax increase were not vilified as heartless bastriches or unChrist-like because they didn't want their tax money used that way. Christ taught that we should care for the sick, He didn't specify that the Government should mandate how and to whom care should be given. It was a teaching for individuals for their edification, not a mandate from the Government, ie, forced to do it.

  • Darrel
    Aug. 18, 2009 3:13 p.m.

    @ Try this poker analogy

    I think you are confusing the right to Life with the right to Liberty...

  • re: Anonymous | 2:49 p.m.
    Aug. 18, 2009 3:00 p.m.

    Thank You
    Well said.

  • Anonymous
    Aug. 18, 2009 2:49 p.m.

    Mike Richards | 8:36 a.m.

    "Please cite the section of the Constitution that gives you, me or anyone else the 'right' to government supplied health care."

    There is no specific reference to "government supplied healthcare" just as there is no reference to building an interstate highway system or a national anti-drug program. There are many programs today that are not explicitly stated in the Constitution because it was written over 200 years ago when the world was very different. The men who wrote this document realized that they had to allow for change.

    Developing a program so that every American can obtain health insurance can be viewed as a "right" because of the "promote the general welfare" aspect in our democracy's covenent with the people. It is no different from any other attempt to make life better for all. This distinguishes the United States from such places as North Korea or Myanmar where the people are not as important within the governmental organization.

    This does not mean "free" and "with no responsibility" in regards to the individual receiving the benefit of their rights. The rights of freedom are not automatic and free for the taking.

  • Poker Analogy Typo
    Aug. 18, 2009 2:43 p.m.

    That should be "You DON'T have a right to "a good hand", you have a right to play the cards you're dealt."

    Sorry for any confusion.

  • Try This Poker Analogy
    Aug. 18, 2009 2:41 p.m.

    "re: Show Me Where | 10:52 p.m. | 9:50 a.m. Aug. 18, 2009
    re: Show Me Where | 10:52 p.m. Aug. 17, 2009
    Anyone care to show me where in the Constitution it says that "health care is a right"?

    "LIFE" is a right under the constitution - Healthcare is all about assuring and sustaining life.

    If you still don't see or understand the connection between Life and Healthcare - ask a Doctor, a nurse or any other HealthCare PROFESSIONAL - not the neocon radio talk-show hosts."

    Just guessing but I'm probably not the first person to say you're clueless, am I?

    The right to "LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" was NOT meant "hey, the government, or in other words, your neighbors, should pay for your health care".

    What the Founding Fathers meant was that every human being had an inherant, inalienable right to live their life as best as they can, i.e., free from the physical bondage of slavery or terror or incessant fear that wicked people inflict on one another.

    You DON'T have a to "a good hand", you have a right to play the cards you're dealt.

  • Your Unblissful Ignorance
    Aug. 18, 2009 2:08 p.m.

    Previous post: "Republicans... | 6:18 p.m. Aug. 17, 2009 their money. Christians love their neighbors. Which are you?"

    Wow. You know, I've been reading Deseret News comments for over 2 years and in that time I've read a whopping lot of comments from liberals that say that only Republicans are the ignorant, narrow minded type.

    And yet, here's a comment from a liberal, and most likely a Democrat, in which he boldly proclaims that you CANNOT be Christlike AND belong to the Republican party.

    Your ignorance and your gall, Mr/Miss 6:18, pour like rain in a summertime thunderstorm.

    Dan Maloy
    Enid, OK

  • Leftist = Socialist?
    Aug. 18, 2009 1:18 p.m.

    The more rhetoric I read from those on the left in these threads, the more I am becoming convinced that they ARE Socialists at heart.

  • A Right? Don't think so!!!
    Aug. 18, 2009 1:17 p.m.

    Not a "right" in Canada--its in the Vancouver Sun newspaper today.


    Dix said a Vancouver Coastal Health Authority document shows it is considering chopping more than 6,000 surgeries in an effort to make up for a dramatic budgetary shortfall that could reach $200 million.

    “This hasn’t been announced by the health authority … but these cuts are coming,” Dix said, citing figures gleaned from a leaked executive summary of “proposed VCH surgical reductions.”

    This has not been announced to the public there yet but it will unless the government finds a way to invent money to cover the budget shortfalls.

    My question:

    What is the difference? Of course Vancouver does not have death panels but if the government system "that covers everyone" decides not to fund necessary surgeries, what is the difference.

    If they in fact do this people could/will likely die as a result of delayed or no surgery at all.

    Its semantics.

    The government is in a position to determine whether you get care or not.

    Patients will get prioritized by "someone" whether you call it a death panel or not is irrelevant.

  • 2 bits
    Aug. 18, 2009 1:15 p.m.

    We have a right to ACCESS healthcare (just like we have the right to own a gun). But we don't have the RIGHT to have others pay for our healthcare (just like the state isn't required to pay for anyone's gun).

    Nobody's being turned away by healthcare providers just for their race, political party, etc. They are just expected to pay for their services. Even that's sometimes optional or negotiable.

  • RedShirt
    Aug. 18, 2009 1:15 p.m.

    To "re:RedShirt | 11:11 a.m | 12:38 p.m." if healthcare is in the Constitution, then so must those other things, ok, maybe the gym, nutritionist, internet, and computer are going a bit far, but the rest of the list is even more vital to "life" than healthcare.

    How can I be alive, or healthy if I don't have food?

    How healthy can I be I don't have clothes to keep me warm, dry, out of the sun, etc...

    How healthy would I be if I lived outside, exposed to the elements, or even in a poorly maintained house?

    If I can't get to my healthcare appointments, how do you expect me receive preventative care?

    If you have provided me with a house, then I need electricity to heat and cool my house. Would you want me to get sick from the cold or die from the heat?

  • S2 - Question?
    Aug. 18, 2009 1:08 p.m.

    So what is it you in the far-right want?
    Going back to the days of Herbert Hoover?
    pre-industiral 1776?
    The Dark Ages??

    Stop parroting the Party of NO and suggest something.

    Seriously - I'd like to hear your solutions.
    a Lib

  • S2
    Aug. 18, 2009 12:57 p.m.

    @J Gilmore. I applaud your reasoning.

    And yes, Medicaire (for the elderly, right? Medicaide for the indigent?) is a program that should be repealed as socialist. However, just like Social Security, once an entitlement is in the people's hand, NO one can revoke it. That alone is a huge part of my opposition to Obamacare as presently proposed.

    Medicaide (for the poor? If I have them backward, I apologize) is our society's safety net. I have no huge problem with it, even though yes, it too has its inherent waste and abuse due to gov't administration. Again, once established, no way to repeal it. Both should be looked at for reform, just as insurance and tort laws should be, as well as state and federal regulations that complicate and leave heavy burdens on medical providers.

    I have allowed that IF a crisis in health care for the poor existed, that along with reform and means to qualify those with access, that it would be better to fund Medicaid to a greater extent at a nominal cost compared to Obamacare and all its huge negatives for all of us. We should care, give, but in the right way.

  • re:RedShirt | 11:11 a.m
    Aug. 18, 2009 12:38 p.m.

    Please - use your head, seriously.

    "Lifestyle" and "Life" in a real Healthcare situation and issue are entirely different.

    [I assume you are taunting - no one can be that lacking]

  • RedShirt
    Aug. 18, 2009 11:11 a.m.

    To those who think that healthcare is a right, I say this:

    If you want me to be healthy, while receiving government healthcare, you better supply me the following, because they too support my life:

    Gym membership, including a personal trainer
    Telephone service (how else can I get appointments made with my healthcare provider.)
    Access to a nutritionist
    Computer and internet access (to keep my mind healthy I need stimulation, and what better way than accessing news and information to keep a brain active)

    Those are essential to "Life" and my health. How else do you expect me to be healthy, or to protect my life? Who wants to pay for all of that for me?

  • re: Show Me Where | 10:52 p.m.
    Aug. 18, 2009 9:50 a.m.

    re: Show Me Where | 10:52 p.m. Aug. 17, 2009
    Anyone care to show me where in the Constitution it says that "health care is a right"?

    "LIFE" is a right under the constitution - Healthcare is all about assuring and sustaining life.

    If you still don't see or understand the connection between Life and Healthcare - ask a Doctor, a nurse or any other HealthCare PROFESSIONAL - not the neocon radio talk-show hosts.

  • @ J GIlmore
    Aug. 18, 2009 9:08 a.m.

    Buddy, do you think that with all the 'wants' that people THINK are 'needs' that $1 trillion would be enough to even cover the health-care related ills of Detroit for 10 years? I don't think so!

    All the money in the world could not satisfy your level of 'want' especially when it becomes real personal.

    So, yeah, someone has to think responsibly about money. Too bad, so sad.

    But for you, robbery of the now, and the future, and all investments in further advances should be shaken out of the piggy bank NOW for this, to make you feel better in your leftist conscience. Thievery and short-sighted fooishness, your justified means to a much worse end?

  • John Gilmore
    Aug. 18, 2009 8:20 a.m.

    I've been convinced though:

    Health care is not a right.

    Some logical posters have used good examples to explain that, of course, receiving health care requires others to act in a particular and voluntary way. To call it my right would say their choice of whether to administer it is nonexistent, that they have no choice, that they must work as a health care provider and must provide me the health care that is my right.

    I therefore concede the point 100%.

    So, if health care is not a right, what is it?

    It's a responsibility: It's a responsibility of a country who can afford it, like ours, and who desires to call itself civilized.

    It's an opportunity: Universal health care is something that only the luckiest of countries can institute, only those with enough wealth, like ours, to sustain a program that so adequately cares for the basic needs of its citizens.

    It's a moral necessity: 15-20 thousand die each year for lack of insurance. Those with empathy, with a conscience, are compelled to act.

    It's a privilege only a wealthy country can achieve.

  • John gilmore
    Aug. 18, 2009 7:46 a.m.

    Interesting to see how poorly the "health care is a right" line plays out here. Again, I feel disappointed that perhaps not a single comment addresses the issue I am more upset about it: Medicare for all or for none. Let's choose. As An observer rightfully pointed out, "it just is in fact just another government program created by congress." Is it therefore unjustified?

    One things for certain, health care isn't a right for some but not all. It's either a right for none, clearly the consensus here, or for all. The majority then should be absolutely railing on medicare. Come on.

    Lastly, I'm fascinated how often it comes back to god. I'm starting to believe that my atheism is the central reason I am a leftist and believe health care must be guaranteed to all. If I believe that a poor person's suffering is somehow "watched by god," it's a little easier to stomach. If I believe god is watching how they toil, watching the sparrow fall, I can justify my selfish libertarianism. If i recognize that there is no evidence for the existence of such a being, I can't.

  • S2
    Aug. 18, 2009 6:36 a.m.

    Health care is not a right. Nor is food, a job, shelter, marriage.... a computer, TIVO, internet access.

    Rights are that which the government cannot withhold or impinge. Man has the right to pursue happiness, in whatever form. Life is happiness, so man pursues food, clothing, shelter, a job. Pursuit is the same as earning.

    Families find happiness in providing for their young, helpless and dependent. Families find happiness in good health, or bad, in work, progress, improvement, education, conmingling and learning.

    None of this the gov't should restrain.

    The gov't is not responsible, directly, for any of it. Where people choose to associate, to group, to form jointness and community, to build their prosperity together, so be it.

    We ask the gov't to protect our borders, coin our money, regulate commerce for our protection, and to organize us when we ask for the common good for large projects - bridges, power plants, dams.

    Wants and needs are not rights. They are personal responsibilities if one is seeking happiness.

    Liberals may want cradle to grave coddling, saving them from lessons and tragedy of life. It is not a right. Lucifer suggested it, but you voted against it.

  • jefejivaro
    Aug. 18, 2009 12:26 a.m.

    It seems to to me that most here are missing the real crux of the issue. Few would argue that we have no responsibility to help care for those who can't care for themselves. Any caring individual will step out of his or her way to help another. Some of the most exquisite joy in life results from doing so.

    Forcing someone to help is counterproductive. It helps neither the person assisted (in terms of their self-worth) nor those forced to help. When I can no longer give willingly, as a matter of choice, the blessings associated with that assistance are forfeited. Is the need critical? Usually yes. Is that bad? No...visibly critical need induces good people to set aside their own agenda and divert their attention and resources to help another. Once made, that choice to help when inconvenient or costly is an essential component to our development as human beings.

    Absent that ability to serve others voluntarily our growth is stunted. God never intended for our lives to be a continual bed of roses. But he did intend both the sufferer and helper to grow. Let's not subvert that process!

  • Disagree with your flawed logic
    Aug. 17, 2009 11:21 p.m.

    Food and shelter are necessary to life. This does not mean that they are rights and that anyone should be obligated to pay for these necessities for others.

    A person cannot live for long without food or shelter, and yet I see no one clamoring for nationalized Nutrition Reform or socialized Shelter provision. Health care is a similar category.

    Why? Just because something is necessary to life, does not guarantee that it is provided by the government, whether you earn it or not!

    If we were a country with limitless money and resources, this debate might be interesting and worthwhile, but in these times of a failing economy, rising taxation and soon-to-be soaring inflation, we cannot afford to suddenly decide that it is necessary to redistribute wealth in such an enormous scale and force the workers and middle class to pay for the health care of an entire nation of 300 million people. It cannot and should not be done.

    The only reason for the incredible haste to pass this legislation, is to get it on the books before the American people realize they have been duped and it's too late to react!

  • Right?
    Aug. 17, 2009 11:05 p.m.

    How can something be a right when you have to violate someone elses rights, in this case property rights, to achieve it?

  • RE: John Gilmore
    Aug. 17, 2009 10:57 p.m.

    I am just asking where doe syour right end and mine begin?

    YOU seem to ignore that important point,

    and just plain demand healthcare.

    Ad NO, I am NOT sure medicare and medicaid is a right, it just is in fact just another government program created by congress.

    There is NO constitutionally created right to it. No admendment that I Ever seen.

  • Show Me Where
    Aug. 17, 2009 10:52 p.m.

    Anyone care to show me where in the Constitution it says that "health care is a right"?

    Sure it says the right to the pursuit of "life, liberty and happiness" but get real, our Founding Fathers didn't mean free health care for everyone, even the lazy, on the backs of the taxpayers.

  • All Knowing
    Aug. 17, 2009 9:15 p.m.

    @Anonymous 2:06 p.m.:

    "Who decided that (his insurance will pay only part of the accident)? It certainly wasn't the Doctors at the U Hospital."

    He should have read the insurance policy coverage before signing up. His bad. Does he expect someone else to do the Due Diligence for him?

  • John Gilmore
    Aug. 17, 2009 9:00 p.m.

    Last comment, labeled "Observer," was from me aimed TO "An Observer," apologies for confusion.

  • Observer,
    Aug. 17, 2009 8:59 p.m.

    Again, we agree that it at least cannot be a right for some and not others, correct? You DO want medicare to be repealed, correct?

  • John Gilmore
    Aug. 17, 2009 8:57 p.m.

    Those of you arguing health care is not a right - I hope you all intend to write to your representatives calling for repeal of medicare, medicaid, and all other state health care programs. You are doing this, right? If you are, congratulations for being consistent. If not, how can you justify letting such socialism exist in your government? You know that your republican senators support these programs- why do you let that happen? If it's not a right for all, it can't be a right for anyone! You do agree, don't you? You must agree!

  • John Gilmore
    Aug. 17, 2009 8:53 p.m.

    "It's NOT just up to the whim of the insurance company to just decide on the spot that they don't want to cover something your brother (or his doctor) want, just to boost next quarter's earnings."

    You are completely and absolutely wrong on this. IT is ABSOLUTELY common for insurance corporations to just decide on the spot that they refuse to cover something, just to boost next quarter's earnings. They use all sorts of tactics, all of which are completely legal.

  • An Observer
    Aug. 17, 2009 8:51 p.m.

    HEalthcare is NOT a right,

    it can not be a right,

    a RIght ends when ittramples on another,

    DO you the have right to the product or services of another?

    Do you a have right to demand another to take care of you?

    DO have right to someone else's pocketbook or wallet?

    Do you have right to FORCE someone else to insure you?

  • John Gilmore
    Aug. 17, 2009 8:44 p.m.

    Mostly, disappointed that the central purpose of my letter has been missed in these comments.

    I believe health care is right, yes.

    But can we all not agree that it is either a right or not a right? That it is either a right for all or not a right for all?

    How does anyone justify support for medicare while simultaneously fighting against a public option for all? How can health care be a right for some but not for all?

  • John Gilmore, OP
    Aug. 17, 2009 8:42 p.m.

    My full letter, as sent to Des news:

    "I'm told the majority of our country is opposed to a government roll in health care. We ought to tie all government health plans together, and vote to make them available to all or none. We could find out whether those currently enrolled in Medicare sincerely believe that the government has no roll in health care, or whether that group somehow believes that some people deserve a public option, while others do not. What is this qualification that currently entitles one to a public option in the USA? Being over 65? Being uninsurable in the private market?

    I believe that all people are entitled to health care. I believe it is a right. I believe it is critical, and that we ought to adopt a progressive tax policy to ensure this right. One thing's for certain: it's irrational to believe it is a right for some and not all. Get rid of medicare, or make it available to all. Write this into a health care bill, and let our representatives vote on whether a government health option ought to be available to all or to none."

  • Pedro
    Aug. 17, 2009 7:20 p.m.

    Anonymous at 5:39 wrote: "People are better fed, clothed, and cared for under freedom than under government dependence."

    The statistics don't support your statement. The most recent study by the world health organization showed that the United States ranked 37th in overall quality of health care, while countries with government-supported health care systems were ranked at the top. The United states is 25th in terms of life-expectancy.

    The United States is 2nd in terms of health care expenditures as a percentage of GDP. Second only to the Marshall Islands.

  • Larry the LDS Liberal
    Aug. 17, 2009 6:34 p.m.

    NeoCons, you had your chance:

    "If man will not recognize the inequalities around him and voluntarily, through the gospel plan, come to the aid of his brother, he will find that through ‘a democratic process’ he will be forced to come to the aid of his brother. The government will take from the ‘haves’ and give to the ‘have nots.’ Both have lost their freedom.

    Those who ‘have,’ lost their freedom to give voluntarily of their own free will and in the way they desire.
    Those who ‘have not,’ lost their freedom because they did not earn what they received. They got ‘something for nothing,’ and they will neither appreciate the gift nor the giver of the gift."

    - Pres. Howard W. Hunter

  • Republicans...
    Aug. 17, 2009 6:18 p.m. their money.

    Christians love their neighbors.

    Which are you?

  • Anonymous
    Aug. 17, 2009 5:39 p.m.

    People are better fed, clothed, and cared for under freedom than under government dependence. It's not compassionate to turn someone into a ward of the state when they are able to work and earn their own way. It's insulting and degrading.

    Yes, there are people who are truly unable to to work. Local efforts where the giver and the receiver are close to each other are the most effective. Statistics show that conservatives do a much better job of caring for these people than do liberals. Don't tell me how compassionate you are, when you're being charitable with someone else's money.

  • @ "Gus Talwynd | 4:28 p.m."
    Aug. 17, 2009 5:31 p.m.

    Gus Talwynd | 4:28 p.m.

    YOU don't belive one's rights end at the pocketbook of their neighbor?

    If so... this explains a lot.

    Sure glad I'm not YOUR neighbor if you think your rights include access to MY wallet (just for being your neighbor).

  • @ "3:51 p.m."
    Aug. 17, 2009 5:25 p.m.

    3:51 p.m.

    If you really don't know when life begins... why not play it safe and not terminate it?

    And trying to equate sneezing, etc with abortion... Just amazing!

    Obviously you will bend over backwards to feel good about aborting a growing living fetus. I hope ALL on the left aren't as far gone as you are.

    If you decide to abort a fetus that's your decision. But don't insult people by being flipant about it and equating it with sneezing or trimming your fingernails. That's just obsurd!

  • i love the hypocrisy
    Aug. 17, 2009 5:19 p.m.

    Do you think anonymous ever goes to church or reads the bible? He brings up Jesus every other post but I bet he could care less about what Jesus would say about his own personal choices.

    Just to enlighten you.......Jesus taught us how to live and make personal decisions. He never lectured on government policy. Read the Bible!

    It is my responsibility to serve others. It is not the governments job to force me to do so. If we choose to do so collectively, then I will pay my taxes, although, I don't think it would make good public policy. You need to separate your juvenile understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ from your political thought.

  • Anonymous
    Aug. 17, 2009 5:16 p.m.

    NeoCons -
    Your favorite Uncle is out chooping wood for your Grandpa...and drops.

    If what you say is true, and said Uncle has no insurance...we should just wait until he turns blue, then ash gray...the cry at his funeral.

    Now widow and fatherless children become cared for by the State because the breadwinner (and former tax payer) are gone.

    Please explain how this is a better system?

  • TO "Anonymous | 2:06 p.m."
    Aug. 17, 2009 5:15 p.m.

    Anonymous | 2:06 p.m.

    You really have that little understanding of how Health Insurance works? That's amazing!

    What is or isn't covered by your brother's insurance company is determined by the POLICY. It's all spelled out to your brother when he signed up. It's all in print in the policy.

    It's NOT just up to the whim of the insurance company to just decide on the spot that they don't want to cover something your brother (or his doctor) want, just to boost next quarter's earnings.

    That misrepresentation of the way it works is... as you call it... "HOGWASH".

    Try showing some intelectual honesty and drop the political hype in your postings. Insurance just doesn't work the way you described.

  • Only if you avoid abortion
    Aug. 17, 2009 5:09 p.m.

    The leftists think free healthcare (AKA "Life") is a "right". But only IF you are lucky enough to make it past their OTHER "Right"... to abort you before you realise YOUR right to LIFE (AKA being born).

  • Kevin
    Aug. 17, 2009 5:04 p.m.

    @Mike Richards | 8:36 a.m. Aug. 17, 2009

    "Please cite the section of the Constitution that gives you, me or anyone else the 'right' to government supplied health care."

    Even though I was opposing your statement, I wasn't arguing healthcare was a right, actually. I don't believe it is. I haven't reached my own conclusion about how to deal with the healthcare issues.

    "Whether you accept or reject God as the giver of rights will not change the wording of the Declaration of Independence..."

    I do indeed reject the God theory of the universe because the claims about God cannot be verified.

    As for the majority of people believing as they do, as long as people do not recognize the establishment of religion as they reference 'God' when making laws, per the Constitution, I don't think there's necessarily a problem.

    But if people are going to stand up and declare "God is x, and God says y, and God wants z to be law," then I predict there will more declarations of independence and more revolutionary wars.

  • Re: Liberals think for themselve
    Aug. 17, 2009 4:38 p.m.

    I would agree that the world is not as black-and-white as SOME conservatives would like to believe.

    But neither is it as gray (i.e. no black and white lines) as too many liberals would like to believe.

    A single fertilized human egg is not equivalent to a living breathing human being in my book. But I also scoff at those pro-abortion liberals who think that a full-term fetus who only needs to emerge from the womb in one piece in order to live and thrive should have no more rights than a wad of spit.

  • @ "Neocon Nutcakes | 1:35 p.m."
    Aug. 17, 2009 4:33 p.m.

    Neocon Nutcakes | 1:35 p.m.

    So much for Neocons being the ones who start calling names.

    Anyway, my opinion is... The "right to life" does NOT equate to "the right to free healthinsurance and healthcare".

    In my opinion... The "Right to life" is GOD given. It's the right to be born (A right the LEFT doesn't believe exists)... It's the RIGHT to LIVE without the government holding you down or yoking you to pull their machine.

    It's MY JOB to improve my QUALITY of life (NOT THE GOVERNMENT's). I don't want to be at the mercy and whim of what the government decides to provide. I don't want to have to grovel and promise to re-elect Democrats (or any other political power broker) to get a hospital in my neighborhood, or quality treatment for my family.

    People who want to turn this over to those in GOVERNMENT (in light of how Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, AMTRACK, etc, which struggle to keep up with their private competetors despite endless government funding)... just make me scratch my head in confusion.

  • Gus Talwynd
    Aug. 17, 2009 4:28 p.m.

    The questions of rights always comes down to the question of cost with conservative elements within the society. Many who object to the idea that health care is a right are opposed because they believe that someone is going to get something for free.

    George Bush once remarked that everyone had health coverage already because they can always go to the emergency room. Of course, they get billed for using the emergency room service, and those who cannot pay get subsidized by the general public.

    So it becomes a question of money in determining what can and should be a right and what should not. If Terri Schivo had been a ward of the state, conservatives would not have been as quick to call for her continued maintenance since they would have to pay for it. Euthanasia would have suddenly become the conservative mantra. Terri Schivo would no longer have a right to life, regardless of the doctor's diagnosis and the lack of health insurance.

    It appears that one's rights end at the pocketbook of their neighbor. And those unfortunate enough to be unable to care for themselves must become beggars on the street for the_conservative's_pennies.

  • Pro-choice means more than..
    Aug. 17, 2009 4:28 p.m.

    What about living wills, and death with dignity laws?

    Are the right-wing pro-lifers standing in my free agency for termination of sustained life-support?

    [Please, only answer if you've stood in an ICU and had to make that call for an immediate family member.]

  • Liberals think for themselves
    Aug. 17, 2009 3:51 p.m.

    So, When exactly does life begin?

    At a Single cell??
    If that be the case - then we are all guilty of murder at the cellular level.

    For example; we spit, sneeze, cough, bleed, skin your knees, or clip a hang-nail.
    Each individual living organism contains genetic coding and is fully capable of living, reproducing and dying.

    However, is that cell or even group of cells - me, a human being?

    It's not as black-and-white as neocons tend to want to make it....

  • Larry the Liberal
    Aug. 17, 2009 3:41 p.m.

    Neither, I'm Libertarian.
    I'm simply for a person's "Right to Choose".

    The real evil is "Force" - elimination of freedom.

    Forcing someone else to CTR (choose the right) or wrong is worse than someone exercising their free agency and choosing sin.

    Personally, I'm pro-life.

    Do what you want, just don't force me or anyone else to pay it.

    I may disapprove of what you say (or do), but I will defend to the death your right to say (or do) it. - Voltaire

  • Frank
    Aug. 17, 2009 3:34 p.m.

    If "Life" is a 'right', why havent some of these people gotten one yet.

  • right to life
    Aug. 17, 2009 3:33 p.m.

    not a right to the good life...guarantee me a life with absolutely no misery in any aspect of my life or don't use medical misery to make a wish a right. I need a million bucks a year to pursue happiness in other exotic must be the job of the government to provide this for How is this fundamentally different once you stop thinking emotionally and begin to think rationally?

  • re neocon nutcakes
    Aug. 17, 2009 3:11 p.m.

    "I don't think you right-wing-nut-jobs are getting it.
    The letter writer is correct:
    Healthcare is a right
    The right to "LIFE".
    Isn't that what healthcare is all about?"

    So you are pro-life and there is no right to abortion in the constitution?

  • Anonymous
    Aug. 17, 2009 3:07 p.m.

    All Republicans think about is money.
    Democrats think for others.
    Libertarians think for themselves.

  • Heartless wonder
    Aug. 17, 2009 2:35 p.m.

    You left-wing nutjobs and paleoliberals are the one's who really don't get it.

    Once you turn responsibility for your life over to the government -- you've LOST your right to life.

    Look what the government has done to an unborn baby's right to life. Look what it has done to a social security pensioner's. To a military retiree's.

    People in these categories are ALREADY being denied a right to life by decisions being made in government-run, rationed health care plans.

    BY THE GOVERNMENT! How can you honestly assert it will be any different in any other government-run, rationed health care plan?

    Why do you insist on believing that it's somehow better for all of us to be uniformly miserable?

    It doesn't take an Einstein to figure out that, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

    When are you left-wing nutjobs and paleoliberals going to get over your insanity?

  • Anonymous
    Aug. 17, 2009 2:06 p.m.

    I have a brother at University Hospital this morning suffering injuries from an accient over the weekend. His insurance will cover part, but not all of his injuries.

    Who decided that? It certainly wasn't the Doctors at the U Hospital. They want to do everything they can to help.

    Guess what, they told his wife it the insurance companies decisions, not theirs. They must be protecting their next quarter earnings. Hogwash!

  • Neocon Nutcakes
    Aug. 17, 2009 1:35 p.m.

    I don't think you right-wing-nut-jobs are getting it.

    The letter writer is correct:

    Healthcare is a right

    The right to "LIFE".

    Isn't that what healthcare is all about?

  • Anonymous
    Aug. 17, 2009 1:26 p.m.

    So what I hear from the neocons on the right (aka, Mike Richards) is that Jesus was an evolutionist who taught that only the strong survive?

    Please explain your idea of compassion for a newborn infant who is not eligable to be "covered".

    Facts is,
    I had a baby brother that my parents had to "donate" to science in order to stay at Primary Childrens Hospital for his last 2 months on earth, and my parents and our family had to declare medical bankruptcy.

    Do you even DARE lecture me about what is right and what is wrong!!!

    You Heartless wonder.....

  • Jim
    Aug. 17, 2009 1:23 p.m.

    Why are you folks soo willing to pay for any defense program or war the previous administration came up with but your not will to pay anything to help people in your own country? We would not be in this hole if we werent throwing money down the middle east black hole. Its ttme to take care of our own..Eveyone

  • I believe?
    Aug. 17, 2009 12:57 p.m.

    Re: "I believe that people are entitled to health care. I believe it is a right. I believe it is critical. . . ."

    If I believe President Obama was born in Kenya, does that make it so? If I believe President Kennedy was killed by the Mafia, does that make it so? If I believe I have a right to YOUR car, does that make it so?

    Why would anyone listen to this drivel? Show me the constitutional provision, then we can talk.

    Until then, it's not a right, it's a political scam whose purpose is to take in deluded "believers."

    And convince them liberals are looking out for them.

    "What a gullible breed." [Agent K, Men in Black]

  • Howdy John
    Aug. 17, 2009 12:47 p.m.

    Can't find the reference to the "right to health care" you proclaim. Is it next to the "right" to golf.

    Maybe you have an updated Bill of Rights.

    Now, you may say you believe the government should provide health care for everyone, I wouldn't argue to that, but to say it is a "right" is disingenuous.

  • Bit me
    Aug. 17, 2009 12:44 p.m.

    The "Right" to golf | 11:33 a.m.
    I feel golf should be a right. And there should be a progressive/aggressive tax policy to insure that others pay for my "Right" to golf daily!

    If you play at ANY county course...we already do.

  • Anonymous
    Aug. 17, 2009 12:41 p.m.

    Eating is a right. It's something we all are completely free to do. We still have to grow the food, or earn the money to buy it.

  • wallofvoodoo
    Aug. 17, 2009 12:38 p.m.

    My tax money already goes to pay for your "right" to golf at public golf courses. If my tax money can go to something as stupid as that, it could go to health care.

    Health care isn't a right in this country right now, it is a privelede for those who can afford it. It should be a right avaialable to everyone.

  • rule of thumb
    Aug. 17, 2009 12:32 p.m.

    in order to determine God given rights one must simply ask themself "if I lived on the planet alone, would this be something I had?" Life, check. Liberty, check. Pursuit of happiness, check. Gun, maybe or maybe not depending on my own ability to create it but I would certainly have weapons of some sort so, I would have the "right to bear arms". Health care .....I hear the crickets...only those able to care for themselves would have it. I do not advocate living without health care...we have given power to certain institutions in our lives...among them are the state, local, and federal government...we must decide how much power we wish to give them. The current situation demonstrates a government in a power struggle to dictate to the constituency what power they have rather than the other way around.

  • The problem..
    Aug. 17, 2009 12:27 p.m. Michael Moore so eloquently put it in "Sicko" is that the "health care" industry in far less about health care than it is about profits.
    Like ANY industry.
    And we can buy insurance or not buy, but the bank will foreclose on me if I can't afford to pay both my mortgage, Orrin Hatch's friends $500 for a prescription.

  • Mike Richards
    Aug. 17, 2009 12:05 p.m.

    @ 10:44 & 10:58,

    Insurance companies are just like McDonalds - they can refuse service to anyone for any reason. Walk in to your local fast-food outlet and start yelling about their high prices or their limited menu or the fact that the government offers you meals-on-wheels for free and see how fast you are escorted out of the building.

    YOU HAVE A CHOICE! YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO BUY INSURANCE! If you look hard enough, you will find a company that will insure you, regardless of your condition, BUT, you'll have to pay the premium.

    Your complaint is that you can't buy the plan that you want at the price that you want to pay. That's too bad.
    You're sounding like spoiled brats who just want to throw a tantrum because they can't have everything for free.

    You DON'T have to have insurance. Pay the doctor out of your own pocket.

    Geez, who buys you breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday? Do you ever pay for anything?

    If you think that you can dictate to a vendor what he can charge you're thinking like some un-American dictator.

  • The "Right" to golf
    Aug. 17, 2009 11:33 a.m.

    I feel golf should be a right. And there should be a progressive/aggressive tax policy to insure that others pay for my "Right" to golf daily!

    If I don't golf daily I get stressed and it affects my health and welfare.

  • A "right"?
    Aug. 17, 2009 11:28 a.m.

    How do you figure this is a "right"?

    Just because you FEEL it should be?

    What OTHER things to you FEEL should be a "right" to all? What OTHER rights do you have in mind that should be provided by an aggressive tax policy to make others pay for it?

  • ...justice and liberty for all.
    Aug. 17, 2009 11:08 a.m.

    I have a solution that is fair and equal for every American.

    Simply stop coverage for everyone on Dec. 31st.

    Then, have everyone re-apply for coverage on beginning on Jan. 1.

    I can only imagine the sound from the know-it-alls who's families suddenly are denied healthcare due to pre-exisiting conditions.

    Then, maybe, we can ALL sit down and talk about what's fair and equaitable and what isn't.


  • Anonymous
    Aug. 17, 2009 10:58 a.m.

    re:Mike Richards | 10:10 a.m.

    You have never changed jobs or switched companies before? have you?

    Have you ever had someone in your family denied Insurance for something as mundane as a headache and treated by a Dotoctor with over the counter medications. [tylenol, ibuprophine]

    I didn't think so.

    Congradulations for being such the know it all.

  • I'm calling you on this Mike
    Aug. 17, 2009 10:44 a.m.

    Mike Richards | 10:10 a.m. Aug. 17, 2009
    Right now everyone has the right to buy or to not buy insurance.
    Not so....
    Insurance companies can deny anyone for any reason.

  • All Knowing
    Aug. 17, 2009 10:30 a.m.

    "I believe that people are entitled to health care. I believe it is a right."

    It's your right to obtain all the health care you need and desire. That's your right... And it's also your right and responsibility to pay for it. What's not nor should be your right, is for the government to take money from someone else to give it to you for your medical bills.

    "Get rid of Medicare or make it available to all."

    It IS available to all... as soon as they reach the eligibility age of 65.

  • The Facts
    Aug. 17, 2009 10:10 a.m.

    Income inequality in the United States is at an all-time high, surpassing even levels seen during the Great Depression, according to a recently updated paper by University of California, Berkeley Professor Emmanuel Saez. The paper, which covers data through 2007, points to a staggering, unprecedented disparity in American incomes.

    Though income inequality has been growing for some time, the paper paints a stark, disturbing portrait of wealth distribution in America. Saez calculates that in 2007 the top .01 percent of American earners took home 6 percent of total U.S. wages, a figure that has nearly doubled since 2000.
    The top 1 percent incomes captured half of the overall economic growth over the period 1993-2007," Saes writes.

  • Mike Richards
    Aug. 17, 2009 10:10 a.m.

    Right now everyone has the right to buy or to not buy insurance. Under the plan, everyone would be required to have health insurance, either private or government provided. The plan would take away your RIGHT to NOT have health insurance.

    Right now everyone has the right to choose an insurance company and a policy from that insurance company. Under the plan, you would not be allowed to change companies or plans from the day that the government plan was made law. The plan would take away your RIGHT to select your policy or to change policies.

    Right now everyone has the right to sue an insurance company and/or health care provider if he feels cheated in any way. Would you be able to sue the government without the government's consent?

    Right now Congress has no money locked away for Social Security, even though you and I and everyone else has paid into the system since the first hour that we started work. If a lawyer co-mingled your funds with the funds of other clients, that lawyer would go to prison. You want government to co-mingle your health care with Congress's pork projects?

  • Abbi
    Aug. 17, 2009 10:10 a.m.

    I'm only 22 and even I know UHC is not a right protected under the constitution, but it is something that is correct. If someone is seriously injured or sick but can't pay for it, I want everyone who is against the availability of BASIC health care (no one is talking about premium health care here) to be the one at the door turning them away. I work in sales (for many people who don't understand what that means- it means I'm very low paid and I struggle to pay for basic living month to month) and I am in school to be an elementary teacher (also a very low paid job) and I'd be thrilled to pay more each month if it meant I could be helping someone else. That doesn't make me stupid or irresponsible, it makes me an altruistic person. So get of your high horses and help people out. Your money doesn't follow you to heaven, but your conscious and decisions sure do. And I'm sure most of you can afford it more than I can.

  • To Republicans
    Aug. 17, 2009 9:46 a.m.

    We already pay for the uninsured, in the most expensive way possible. Healthcare reform is an attempt to do it in a way such that we control costs better.

    The Corporations are not looking out for you. They will do whatever they can to enrich themselves, no matter the cost to the rest of us. We have just suffered one of the biggest financial disasters since the Great Depression at the hands of the greedy in the corporate sector. Health insurance companies are charging more and passing more costs onto those they insure, while pocketing the profits.
    How dare you continue to shill for these corporations who are rationing healthcare for profits.
    For 8 yrs we watched a budget surplus turn into a trillion dollar deficit, under the leader YOU elected. At the end of Bush's term our country was teetering on the edge of disaster. WHY should anyone be listening to you?

  • Locke
    Aug. 17, 2009 9:32 a.m.

    What you "believe" is irrelevant in the law. The Constitution -- the supreme law of the land -- makes no provision making health insurance or health care a right. It simply is not so, no matter how you feel.

  • Larry the Liberal
    Aug. 17, 2009 9:32 a.m.

    OK, I'll play the little game.
    Let's use the gun right for an example.

    I have the right to buy a gun -
    the governemnt can't force other to buy me one.

    But I have a constitutional right to own and have access to purchasing one.

    Someone in an earlier post mentioned about buying a car.
    OK, same premise: I have the money, I want to be a car.
    Sorry, you're Asian, or you're a Mormon, I don't have to sell you a car.

    Likewise, under the current Healthcare system in this country even if I have the money, and I'm willing to pay FULL price, Insurance companies can and often do - deny coverage, and not have to ever explain or give a reason why.

    The is legally termed, discrimination.

    And constitutional rights mean all men and women are to be treated equal - no favortism.

    Therefore - yes, "available" Healthcare (not free healthcare) IS a right.

  • Imo
    Aug. 17, 2009 9:28 a.m.

    Darrel, common defense and "post roads" are the purview of the Federal government. You can find where we gave them the authority for both of those in Art.1, Sec. 8. Everything else you listed is the States responsibility as per Amendment 10. The right to tax is not unlimited, and if you think it is then you need to provide a cite that says it is. Maybe you're the one that needs to do a little reading. Since Clinton took office I tend to read the Constitution on a fairly regular basis.

  • Yes, it is a Right !!
    Aug. 17, 2009 9:13 a.m.

    Healthcare IS a right.
    And I'm not advocating just another freebie -

    When I have the money, and I'm willing to pay full price just like anyone else for the services -
    for the insurance companies to tell you, or anyone else in your family that they have been DENIED coverage is just play wrong.

    You have eyeglasses?....sorry - pre-exisitng condition - denied.

    4 years ago, treated for arthritis? Sorry, DENIED.

    You snore? Too bad, Denied.

    I'm willing to pay to play -
    I should have the RIGHT to access Healthcare,
    Therefore, yes it IS indeed a right!!!

  • Imo
    Aug. 17, 2009 9:12 a.m.

    I have no doubt that you believe Health care as a right makes more sense than gun ownership does, but what you believe has zero bearing on what the law is. Gun ownership for every individual citizen is guaranteed by the Second Amendment and Art. 1, Sec.8, clause 16, grants the Federal Government the power to arm it's militias. "To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia ...".

    Try and couch your beliefs in some kind of concrete evidence rather than a fantasy.

  • Observation-ist
    Aug. 17, 2009 9:01 a.m.

    Can we please keep the discussion on topic. This is not about denying health care to preserve your life. Anyone, with or without health care, can walk into a hospital and receive life-saving health care.

    This is a discussion about providing health INSURANCE to all. That's a different matter. Insurance is risk mitigation. If you want to add $ for catastrophic health insurance to unemployment compensation that's certainly worth a discussion. The elimination of 'pre-existing conditions' when transferring jobs makes sense to me.

    Health insurance companies already account for risky behavior in insurance rates. I do wonder how many people could be provided catastrophic health insurance instead of the massive 'stimulus' money being thrown around.

    My biggest concern is blanket health insurance for anyone regardless of their own health risk behavior or for those who are uninsured because they choose to spend their money elsewhere. If you're going to provide health insurance to the uninsured, it should come with a thorough scrub of their budget and the ability to pay. Conveniences like fast food, entertainment, new cars, television (gasp), cigarettes, alcohol, etc. should all come after a person pays for health insurance.

  • Sterling
    Aug. 17, 2009 8:54 a.m.

    The public certainly has a "right" to purchase insurance,(or purchase healthcare directly from the provider) but I have a "right" not to have to pay for others' health care!

  • Jack
    Aug. 17, 2009 8:47 a.m.

    I believe a BMW and a beach front condo are rights, but I don't have either. Please send me a certified check each month so that I can have my "rights".

    The real Constitutional rights do not force Party A to systematically pay for goods and services provided to Party B.

  • Darrel
    Aug. 17, 2009 8:45 a.m.


    Actually it does, it is called taxation. My taxes pay for YOUR kids education. My taxes pay for the streets that lead to YOUR home and work. My taxes pay for YOUR policemen, fireman and defense.
    Please tell me what is wrong with my intrepretation? If you actually read the document you would know it to be correct. Please cite real examples, and not just "I don't like it, therefore it is not true"

  • Mike Richards
    Aug. 17, 2009 8:36 a.m.


    Please cite the section of the Constitution that gives you, me or anyone else the 'right' to government supplied health care.

    The Declaration of Independence 'declared' to the world who we are and what we stand for (and what we would no longer tolerated). It also DECLARED that God is the giver of all rights.

    After the war was won, the Constitution was written to limit the intrusion of Government into the lives of the people of this nation. The people never abdicated their God given rights. They never deeded those rights over to George Washington or any President who followed Washington.

    The Constitution is the contract. It does not give government the 'right' to provide health care. It does not give government the 'right' to dictate who or when or under what conditions people may buy health care or health care insurance from ANY provider.

    Whether you accept or reject God as the giver of rights will not change the wording of the Declaration of Independence, nor will it change the hearts and minds of the citizens who love and respect the giver of our rights.

  • Robert Johnson
    Aug. 17, 2009 8:30 a.m.

    When deciding whether to support UHC all Christians should ask themselves a very simple question:

    "What would Jesus do?"

  • ummm
    Aug. 17, 2009 8:29 a.m.

    no - its not

  • Anonymous
    Aug. 17, 2009 8:17 a.m.

    Health care as a right makes more sense than unfettered gun ownership as a right.

  • Imo
    Aug. 17, 2009 8:09 a.m.

    This is for Darrel @ 7:36. That is one of the most confused readings of the Constitution I have ever read. You need to consider this principle when you attempt to define your rights without any background in constitutional authority. "Your rights end where mine begin." No way in heck does the Constitution allow government to take my property in order to pay your, or anybody else's, bills.

  • Kevin
    Aug. 17, 2009 8:07 a.m.

    @Mike Richards | 4:38 a.m. Aug. 17, 2009

    The Declaration of Independence was just that, a declaration to the British. It has no legal weight today.

    As for your comment, "That 'right' is not found in my bible," fortunately the Bible has no legal bearing on us today either. If it ever does, you're going to have another war on your hands.

  • Subsidized rights
    Aug. 17, 2009 7:55 a.m.

    We have the right to free speech, yet the government does not have to provide everyone a forum complete with chairs, podium, and microphone.

    We have the right to bear arms, yet the government does not take money from the rich to buy every poor person in America a handgun.

    If health care could be obtained, like the air we breathe, without imposing on someone else, then I would agree, we should make it a right. (It is not currently a right in our constitution.)

    Unfortunately, it does not come for free. It is a good (drugs, medical equipment, etc.) as well as a service (doctors, nurses, aides, etc.) and those things come at a price.

    Yes, it would be wonderful if everyone in the world received the best medical care possible, but forcing hard working people to pay for someone else's treatment is not ethical.

  • Darrel
    Aug. 17, 2009 7:36 a.m.

    @ Mike

    God gave us the right to life, as you so eloquently quote. It also states in that same paragraph that it to secure these rights governments are instituted among Man. Government protects that God given right to life by providing for those that need healthcare.
    Disease does not discriminate among social classes or "pay grades". Rich people can get sick just as easily as middle class or poor people. Should not everyone have access to the same treatment?
    Health Care is too a Constitutional Right. Please read the IX ammendment. Also the same Constitution provides Congress the power to enact this legislation under Section 1 Section 8 Clause 18, the Elastic Clause.
    Didn't Jesus preach about visiting the sick in his parable of the sheep and goats? Didn't he preach about their care in the Good Samaritan? Did he not go around "healing all manner of sickness?" The Bible is replete with evidence of caring for the sick. I find it interesting that the FIRST thing he did after introducing himself to the Nephites was command the sick to come forward to be healed. Where does it say it is not good to care for the sick.

  • Anonymous
    Aug. 17, 2009 7:31 a.m.

    John Gilmore: Your letter is spot on. We should have a progressive tax to pay for the health care option; in fact, that's what Pres. Obama is proposing. I support him 110%. Good letter.

  • Anonymous
    Aug. 17, 2009 7:29 a.m.

    Mike Richards: Crawl back under your rock. The Constitution codifies the rights expressed by our Creator in the Dec. of Ind. And Omar, the Constitution doesn't enumerate every god-given right. That's why we elect good men and women to interpret the Constitution and discern what rights should be protected--the ones that talk about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    PS: Is it possible to have life, liberty, and access to the pursuit of happiness without health care?

  • Sam H
    Aug. 17, 2009 7:26 a.m.

    Health care is a commodity, just as is a car, a house, a boat, etc. It is something that is bought and paid for. Why should I pay increased taxes to treat someone else's medical condition?

  • Darin to Mike R.
    Aug. 17, 2009 7:18 a.m.

    Mike Richards,

    Yes, indeed, the consitution is grounded on certain unalienable rights. The first of the three is "Life". Lives are lost all the time because "pre-existing conditions" make people uninsurable. Without care, many illnesses turn into chronic, fatal disease. People who are denied health care sometimes find they have been denied their right to life.

    Moreover, I believe we are morally obligated to come up with a system that is fairer than the current one.

  • dave
    Aug. 17, 2009 7:15 a.m.

    Health care is not a right. A thinking person would never argue that point.

    But, health care is the right thing to do.

  • lost in DC
    Aug. 17, 2009 6:46 a.m.

    actually, I agree somewhat with John. Legal residents have every right to go to any place that offers goods and/or services, whether it be medical care, hair styling, car repair, a restaraunt, the golf course, or whatever, and should be able to receive the services offered (often appointments may be needed.

    They do not, however, have a right to expect someone else to pay for it. If their faucett leaks, THEY pay the plumber; if their car breaks donw, THEY pay the mechanic; if their hair is too long, THEY pay the hair stylist. If they need health care, THEY make arrangements for the payment thereof.

  • JR
    Aug. 17, 2009 6:34 a.m.

    The Constitution is outdated, times have changed, it is the foundation but not the word by which we can abide today. Just as the Bible is a history of a people how many years ago - we need to move forward to reach out to all and show the love and charity the Bible mentions and of course I do joke

  • Gun ownership
    Aug. 17, 2009 5:23 a.m.

    Gun ownership is a right as well - it's actually a right that is prescribed in the 2nd Amendment. Why doesn't government then make sure everyone gets a gun?

  • Mom in MO
    Aug. 17, 2009 4:56 a.m.

    Sorry, health care insurance isn't a right. Neither is abortion. Read the Constitution. The government can't stop you from buying a car- any car- but there is no right to car insurance. You can drive the car anywhere you want to go, but there is no right to gas money. You can buy any car you want, OR you have the right to do without a car at all. You can walk or take a bus or hitch a ride or use a bike, or just stay at home and not go anywhere. Is the governemt going to start forcing people to buy universal auto insurance if they decide to use one of these other option? We should be thankful for our true rights, not demanding more.

  • Mike Richards
    Aug. 17, 2009 4:38 a.m.


    The Government does not 'bestow' rights on us. The Declaration of Independence states:

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,"

    Those were the words that led to war. Those were the words that told the world that our Creator gave us rights - not the government.

    Did God give you the right to expect someone else to pay for your health care? That 'right' is not found in my bible.

    Since the government cannot give 'rights', because it has no 'rights' to give, why do you say that you have a 'right' to health care?

    Who has the authority to bestow that 'right'? The government is restricted to do only those things that we, the citizens, the owners of this nation, permit it to do. The contract that defines the limitations of governmental authority is the Constitution.

    The Constitution contains no 'right' to health care.

  • Clark
    Aug. 17, 2009 4:01 a.m.

    If healthcare is a "right" does that mean the government should reward people who smoke, drink and abuse drugs by sending their doctor bills to healthy people?

    Does that mean trial lawyers should get out of the way of doctors who are constantly having to look over their shoulder, worried any care or non-care they provide will result in a malpractice suit?

    Does that mean nurses who work 12 hour shifts should have to work a few more hours each day and week, to keep up on the demands of patients?

    Go ahead and preach that health care is a right. Just remember that with rights also comes responsiblities. Freedom of speech does not include slandering people or yelling fire in a crowded theater.

  • Omar
    Aug. 17, 2009 12:37 a.m.

    Whether or not "free" health care is a right or not is mute. The constitution doesn't mention free health care. The real question is: How will we pay for it? How much red ink do you think we can endure? There aren't enough "rich" people to tax in order to pay for this. Even if there were, do you really want the government to decide what care you deserve to receive? Don't tell me about Canada, they have one third the population as we do and taxes there are very much higher and yes, they do have rationing! The truth, the government cannot give you "free" health care, there is no such thing!